Global defence update

Venezuela places order for Russian-built submarines
The Venezuelan Navy (ARBV) is finalising negotiations for the procurement of three Russian-made submarines to be delivered between 2012 and 2013. Sources in Caracas said the terms of the deal – for an enhanced Project 636 (Improved ‘Kilo’) design – were agreed in early December 2007

Italy confirms funding for FREMM Batch 2
Italy’s Ministry of Defence has notified the European Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation (OCCAR) of its decision to acquire a second batch of multimission frigates under the Franco-Italian FREMM programme. Construction of the four new 5,750-ton ships – one configured for general-purpose/land-attack tasks and three for anti-submarine warfare (ASW) – will cost EUR1.6 billion (USD2.4 billion), funded by the ministries of defence and economic development
Japanese military export ban stifling business, warns industry
Japan’s policy to prohibit the export of all military equipment and related technology is stifling the development of the country’s defence industry, Japan’s leading business organisation has told Jane’s . The country’s ‘Three Principles’ policy, which was introduced in 1967, states that export deals are not allowed to be signed with communist-bloc countries; countries subject to UN arms export sanctions; and countries involved in or likely to be involved in international conflicts
Afghan army prepares to increase commonality with NATO
International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) officials have said that the Afghan National Army’s (ANA’s) inventory of Soviet-era D-30 howitzers will soon be upgraded with new NATO-standard aiming systems. The modifications are part of joint strategic planning by ISAF nations and Afghanistan’s defence ministry to boost the ANA’s most urgently needed capabilities, or ‘enablers’
US briefs Czech industry on possible missile-defence work

Czech industry could receive contracts valued at up to USD100 million as part of the construction of a United States X-band radar in the Czech Republic. Work – worth USD500 million – on research, development and implementation of some components associated with the system could also be contracted by 2013
Source: jane’s defence journal

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